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Former Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo on National Assembly Matters, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa in this chat with journalists analysed the political situation in Cross River and described it as a Gestapo where elders are being disrespected but explained why she remained in the PDP.
Why I remain in PDP
I’m in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because of the tremendous support and respect I enjoy at the national level in spite of the fact that I have never occupied any party position since I joined the party from the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) 15 years ago. If I were still to be there, by now, I could have risen to the post of the Deputy National Chairman.
The ward congress in Cross River
I commend the impeccable conduct of the ad hoc delegates election panel and the appeal panel that followed immediately. The panel members were made up of credible individuals. I thank the party for allowing due process and true democracy to prevail for the first time in Cross River State even as other states are crying foul that the process was hijacked by their leadership. I want to add that the peace that had existed in the state were graveyard peace because the people had been suppressed for so long and I make bold to state that Cross River remained the only state where party elders are disrespected and treated shabily.
Party Elders and their structures
“As I speak now, there are psychological intimidations and palpable fear in Cross River State as people are scared of even making political conversation on phones let alone gathering in their private homes to discuss politics because of the fear of political punishments. I describe this as a gestapo situation and a steady shift into a state of anarchy. “How come those that are challenging the system for the past three years have now gone into hiding? I want answers to this question. All opposition members have gone into hiding.
Private political arrangements
There was a private arrangement which ensured the Ikang zone produce the Chapter Chairman while I remained the caucus leader to sustain the political process but without informing me, I was removed but instead of abandoning my people, I remained undaunted and continued to provide credible leadership to the people especially at the riverine area of the state.
Why structures are hijacked
The purported hijack of all the structures were meant to satisfy their selfish ends but politics is a spiritual thing and nemesis would always catch up with those who trample on others. I am surprised that the same leadership that takes away and add names are the one crying over party congress. This reminds me of the popular soap opera; The rich also cry. The rich should also cry because the poor had cried for too long. “For me as a forthright leader who has paid her dues at all levels, the issue of governorship resides with the people. Legitimacy is their rights and at their prerogatives, they should decide who will govern them. I have nothing personal against any senatorial aspirant because of their pedigree but in my opinion, Senator Prince Bassey Out has done well and I am supporting continuity and I wish to state for the umpteenth time that in the interest of peace, that list of congress results should not be tampered with.”
She called on other states to emulate Cross River State in allowing a level playing ground for the people to choose leaders of their choices as against impositions.